Early commitment needed to universal healthcare

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) has congratulated the re-appointed and new Ministers of the Turnbull Government’s health portfolios and is ready to work with them to ensure our world-class health system is able to provide quality care for all Australians, regardless of where they live or how much money they have.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM and newly-appointed Assistant Minister for Rural Health Dr David Gillespie in the coming months and years,” AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven said.

“The clear message from the election is that Australians value universal healthcare highly and want our Government to commit to an accessible, equitable and affordable health system.

“While the Coalition’s recent health initiatives have made some amends for the damaging cuts in the 2014 Budget, there is much work still to be done to address issues of access, equity and affordability.”

Australia has a high quality health system delivering world-class health outcomes. This has been achieved through a long-standing commitment to universal healthcare, ensuring all Australians have access to healthcare.

With a number of review processes underway, the Turnbull Government must ensure its health system reforms are innovative, patient-centred, sustainable and adequately funded, evidence-based and data-informed, and must look beyond siloed issues and consider their impacts on the broader health system.

“A number of primary care reform packages, for example in chronic disease, mental health and drugs and addictions, underscore the vital role Primary Health Networks (PHNs) play in implementing the Commonwealth’s reform agenda,” Ms Verhoeven said.

“Adequate primary care funding, linked to quality of care, is required to address the growing burden of chronic disease. The Turnbull Government’s Health Care Homes trial needs appropriate resourcing and a focus on quality outcomes to be truly effective. A properly-resourced chronic disease strategy would help millions of Australians improve their quality of life, and provide economic benefits by reducing the impact of chronic disease on the workforce.”

Ms Verhoeven also called on the new health ministry to reverse the Medicare freeze and commit to long-term sustainable hospital funding.

Media enquiries:
Alison Verhoeven
Chief Executive, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
0403 282 501